Saturday, November 20, 2010


Clay is one of the most common and naturally occurring form of soil on earth, comprising of fine-grained minerals that are the result of volcanic activity and weathering.

Clay is highly plastic and the degree of plasticity depends on the amount of water content present in it. Due to its plasticity, it is used in pottery.

Clay is the basic raw material for all ceramics. Ceramic objects are made by molding clay, glass and other minerals with hands into desired shapes and then baking it in a furnace at temperatures reaching 2000 degrees F. Ceramic materials are hard, porous and brittle. Not all clay forms can be used for making good ceramics. The most popular form of ceramic is the Porcelain which is made from white clay called Kaolin. Recent advances have made it possible to create ceramic objects without using any clay but with other materials.

Creating artistic objects in ceramics like figurines and statuettes along with various household articles like kitchenwares, ceramic bowls, pitchers, tiles and others, was an industry once confined to specialists but is no longer so. Though once considered as only objects of decoration and some having industrial and domestic applications, today ceramics has acquired its own distinctive place in the world of fine arts, while some artifacts even have archaeological importance.

Living amidst us in Mysore is a dexterous clay artiste — Leelavathi Indresh — who has been creating rarities out of clay in her own simple and primitive style and glazing them with colour by adding charm with a slight smudge in the glaze making it unique.

Leelavathi learnt the clay art work while she was in Shimoga, when her husband working with SBM got transferred there. "It was a one year course. Over the years, I developed my technique and made certain modifications in the process. I feel happy as I have trained many students in ten years. White clay is available in several shops and can be easily bought at Mannar’s Market in city. This type of clay is also reusable and is best suited for creating sceneries," says Leelavathi.

"Add appropriate amount of water to the white clay and mix it thoroughly till you have the desired softness. But it should be hard enough hold together when rolled into a ball. Break the clay putty and give it the desired shape with your hands before it gets dried. It can even be painted or decorated using markers or pens," she explains.

"The most characteristic feature is the colourful decoration which never fades or loses its beauty. Each part of the design is individually handmade. Instead of painting, sometimes colour is pre-mixed into clay. After clay is shaped and molded into final form, it is left to for a while to dry. Once they are completely dried, the clay objects get a life-like appearance. I take great pride in my work," adds Leelavathi who strives to offer the finest designs in clay. Leelavathi is equally good in many handiworks like miniature work, Rajasthani art, scroll paintings, Kerala paintings, mural work, Meenakari work, stump art, crafts from waste materials etc. She can be contacted over Mob: 97407-97907.

1 comment:

  1. ur painting is osom ............ can u tell were can get this clay in banglore plzzzz